FG debt servicing gulps N2.49tn in nine months – DMO report

Nigeria spent N2.49tn on debt servicing payments in the first nine months of 2021, data obtained from the Debt Management Office have shown.

Between January and March 2021, Nigeria spent N612.71bn on domestic debt servicing, while it spent $1bn (N410.83bn) on external debt servicing, giving a total of N1.02tn.

From April to June 2021, the country spent N322.7bn on domestic debt servicing and $299m (N122.83bn) on external debt servicing, showing a total of N445.53bn.

From July to September 2021, Nigeria spent N808.49bn on domestic debt servicing and $520.78m (N213.95bn) on external debt servicing, giving a total of N1.02tn.

The official exchange rate of the Central Bank of Nigeria, which showed $1 =N410.83 as of December 15, was used for the external debt servicing.

For domestic debt, the government spent N219.29bn in January, N125.09bn in February, N270.33bn in March, N258bn in April, N42.4bn in May, N22.3bn in June, N354.07bn in July, N100.66bn in August, and N353.75bn in September.

In Q1 and Q3, the government focused on principal repayments, while in Q2, the government focused on interest payments. Throughout, the Federal Government bonds had the largest chunk of debt servicing payments.

A breakdown of the statistics in Q2 shows that the Federal Government spent a total of N322.7bn on the payment of interest, with N50.3bn expended on the redemption of matured Nigeria Treasury Bills.

For external debt servicing in Q1, commercial loans had 76 per cent with a cost of $763.04m (N313.48bn), multilateral had 13 per cent with a cost of $134.04m (N55.05bn), and bilateral had 11 per cent with a cost of $106.33m (N43.68bn).

For external debt servicing in Q2, commercial loans had 53 per cent with a cost of $157m (N64.4bn), multilateral had 35 per cent with a cost of $103.7m (N42.5bn), and bilateral had 13 per cent with a cost of $38.2m (N15.7bn).

For external debt servicing in Q3, commercial loans had 47 per cent with a cost of $246.16m (N101.13bn), multilaterals had 32 per cent with a cost of $165.37m (N67.94bn), and bilateral had 21 per cent with a cost of $109.25m (N44.88bn).

In an earlier PUNCH report, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, blamed Nigeria’s high debt service to revenue ratio on the country’s large expenditure base.

She noted that a large proportion of Nigeria’s budget catered to payroll.

She said, “Our debt service to overall revenue is high because we have a very large expenditure base. We have a large proportion of our budget dedicated to payroll, and Mr President had decided from the beginning of his administration that we were not going to disengage staff.

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